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18th Apr 13Managed by Chatham House
Financed by DEFRA
Anderton urges action on illegal fishing at Paris forum
Illegal fishing was an enormous and urgent problem, Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton told an international forum in Paris today.
Mr Anderton was at the final meeting of the international ministerially led task force on illegal fishing on the high seas. He said the global problem of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing demanded immediate action.
"At the moment it is still a lose/lose situation. In the absence of global political resolve and the necessary leadership to sustain it, IUU fishing continues to threaten the sustainability of fish stocks and marine environments," he told the forum.
The High Seas Task Force was created following the Johannesburg World Summit in 2002 at the recommendation of the OECD Round Table on Sustainable Development.
Mr Anderton endorsed the task forces just-released report which called for a multilateral approach to "expose, deter, and enforce".
The report also recommended expansion and enhancement of the International Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Network and for establishment of a vessel information system.
Difficulties would be getting support from countries less aware of issues and less "inclined" to face them, he said.
Mr Anderton used New Zealands recent hosting of last months international meeting in Wellington which aimed to establish a South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation as an example of filling the existing high seas governance gaps.
"With co-sponsors Chile and Australia, and with New Zealand international legal expert Bill Mansfield as chair, Im hopeful that a Regional Fisheries Management Organisation in the South Pacific will help address some of these global IUU issues in our own back yard," Mr Anderton said.
He told the forum he hoped that the South Pacific initiative would become a model for other countries to follow.
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Issues/Monitoring, control and surveillance
Political processes/High Seas Task Force